JR East to Open Virtual Akihabara Station on March 25

Economy

Tokyo, March 9 (Jiji Press)--East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East, is set to open a virtual space reproducing the railway operator's Akihabara Station and adjacent areas in Tokyo on March 25.

The online space, named "Virtual Akiba World," or VAW, will allow visitors to chat and walk around in the "metaverse station." The word metaverse refers to a 3D virtual reality world where users can interact. Akiba is short for Akihabara.

JR East plans to hold events in collaboration with the real Akihabara Station, one of the 30 stations on the Yamanote Line, a busy loop line in the Japanese capital.

"Using the metaverse station as the '31st station' on the Yamanote Line, we'll work to combine the real and virtual worlds," JR East President and CEO Yuji Fukasawa told a press conference Tuesday. It is the first in the world to fuse the real and virtual spaces with a train station at the center, according to the company.

People can visit VAW for free via quick response, or QR, codes or other means. In line with the opening, the company will hold a virtual event featuring characters from popular Japanese TV and movie works and series, such as "Shin Godzilla."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press